eNarada, Bhubaneswar, Wednesday, March 29, 2017
Ugadi is one of the biggest festivals celebrated across Karnataka. Probably, for the first time, the festival was celebrated even in Odisha! The tribal students studying at the world’s largest residential school-Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS-Bhubaneswar, Odisha) had organised a special Ugadi programme on Wednesday. Hundreds of school students gathered at the venue and exchanged ‘Bevu’ (neem) and ‘Bella’ (jaggery) to commemorate Ugadi.
One of the tribal student at KISS said, “Each of the Indian festival has its own tradition and we were excited to hear about the Karnataka’s tradition in celebrating the New Year. For us, the best part was to share neem and jaggery which symbolically represents the happiness and bitterness which needs to be taken in equal proportions in life. Another student said that this was the first time they were celebrating Ugadi in their life time and were quite excited. “We had to actually go to bazaar to buy jaggery as it is not commonly available here and we had to go in search of neem leaves as well. Though the first bite of neem was definitely bitter but when we knew the significance, we happily munched the neem leaves,” added another student.
Speaking on the occasion, KIIT and KISS founder Dr Achyuta Samanta said, “KISS is the largest tribal school in the world and we mostly have tribals hailing from remote forests of the Odisha who are familiar with their own cultures. However, we thought that we need to introduce all the festivals of India to our students and hence we begun with Kannada New Year. As expected, the students celebrated the Kannada New Year with religious fervour and also exchanged New Year wishes.”